I feel very alone in my situation right now as I have talked to a few friends about this and a couple of them have expressed that they think this is strange....
My husband and I have been married for almost 10 years now. We were physical with each other in the beginning of our marriage (not just sexually but also with hugs, kisses, touching, etc.) and then it seemed that that stuff gradually got less and less and now we only hug and kiss (and say I love you) at bedtime and that's about it. We occasionally have sex but not very often. I think this tended to get worse once we had children, who are still very young (ages 4 and 6). We didn't go out as a couple nearly as much as we used to nor did we really try to get out. Even when we're at home, we don't usually do much together, we'll watch a movie together every now and then but even then, we just lay beside each other while doing so (not touching).
Now, the bright side to the marriage, we very rarely fight. We have an EXCELLENT friendship with each other and we both agree on that. We talk alot about our everyday lives, etc. so that part of our relationship really couldn't be better! I think we're getting close to divorce though, we've talked and talked and talked about our intimacy problems till we're blue in the face but it seems to me that he doesn't want to try to work on them even though he says he doesn't want our marriage to end. I don't want that either but I don't know what more to do to make this better and I need him to want to put in the effort too. Any suggestions would be SO greatly appreciated!!
You have to work at it, to keep the love going. You have to find time together to do couple things - dates, physical activity, recreation, parties...all the things that add 'happy' feelings to a relationship. You aren't doing them! Another website says you need to spend at least 15 hours EACH week together as a couple - no taking care of kids, housework, etc., just 'dating' or 'happy' stuff.
Find a babysitting coop so you can have time together. Start exercising together. Join a club for something you both enjoy, like cooking or sailing or stamp collecting...whatever, as long as you do it together.
I see no reason for divorce in your story!
There's a great book you can get called 52 Invitations for Grrreat Sex, wherein you give each other invitations to a 'meeting' for more interesting SF time. I think you definitely need to surprise your H with that, to rev up that part of your marriage. Maybe give him the first one for Valentine's Day?
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Re: Marriage or Roommates??
To what does he attribute his lack of interest in physical intimacy? Both sexual and non sexual? Also, do you try and initiate intimacy and how does he react.
I would venture to guess that you are very much in the roommate/friendship mode but you can both do things to improve it. There is nothing wrong with telling him what you want and set up some goals. "We need to hold hands when we watch TV. I need that, I want that" "We need to make a point to go out as a couple twice a month and get away from the kids. Us time." Set a goal for sexual intimacy. Once a week or whatever you are comfortable with. Developing a good healthy sexual relationship can do wonders for the bonding of a couple. If he has been unmotivated to change then set the goals for him or he will likely continue down this path. A relationship that doesn't share intimacy and time will eventually wither and die.
Also read this thread and see if you can determine what kind of love you have for your husband and he for you. My guess is that you are in storge and it simply lacks that spark you desire.
Address this now before one or both of you become resentful. Unless there are some underlying facts you've not listed here this should be one of the most straightforward problems in a marriage to fix. Good luck.
I would have to agree with Tunera, there is no really reason for divorce or signs he wants out. You are just in a relationship rut. You need to find a way to spice it up. Get out and date each other again. Make it exciting. Do fun things together. This with cheer you both up and bring you closer physically.
Kayla111, you and I are in the same boat. From what I can tell, you and your husband are able to be close but the spark is gone. Like you, I can lay with my wife for hours on the couch. Although it feels great to be close…it never gets any closer and it tears me apart. I have contemplated divorce a few times…I do not have many words of advice as I am still struggling with this one myself. But, you are not alone.
What are your/his intimacy problems? Are his intimacy needs being met?
Thank you all so much for your thoughts/inspiration! I have decided not to give up quite yet and to give it a good shot. In the past few days, my marriage has improved a bit. My husband and I have had 2 at-home date nights (one night was a games night, one a movie night...there was intimacy on both nights too!). I also talked to him about trying to improve our marriage by joining some sort of extra-curricular activity together (through what we call here a Leisure Guide) and he agreed to that, plus we're going to start going on more date nights together. So, that's a start!
Amplexor, in answer to your questions, I think we just got to a place where it is now slightly awkward for us to touch because we gradually just stopped doing so much with each other and not making the effort to pick up the phone to call babysitters for us to be able to go out and do things as a couple. We became parents and "forgot" about being a couple as well. It sounds like I may be (at least in part if not all) to blame for the lack of sexual intimacy because he once told me that he stopped asking for it (and believe me, he asked for it ALL THE TIME before!) because he said he could only hear the word "No" so many times before he got discouraged enough to stop. I have learned from that mistake, I NEVER say no now! Yes, I do try to initiate intimacy and he is more for the sexual kind, not so much the cuddling/hugging kind but he'll hug me back when I hug him.
Sameoldstory, as much as I feel for you on your same issues, it is nice to hear that I am not alone. I really felt that I was alone in this before joining this forum the other day. Our intimacy problems are that we both think it got to the point of awkwardness for us both to touch in any way, but I think he feels more awkward about it than I do. Although, he is not much into the whole cuddling thing which baffles me and he doesn't even know why...maybe it's just not what he grew up with?? Maybe from a male's point of view, do you think that I just said "No" too much and that's why he stopped asking so much for the sexual intimacy?? Do you think, also, that if the sexual intimacy is there, that the cuddling may follow?? How long have you and your wife been having your issues with this? Have you both talked about it and tried to come up with ways to improve on it? Do you get along well together? That's such a big factor in why my husband and I don't want to give up (other than our kids of course), is that we get along SO well together. We are such great friends. I hope it all goes well for you and your wife.